Student Spotlight: Ulyana Viniarskaya

Ulyana Viniarskaya

Ulyana Viniarskaya
Major: Culinary and
Hospitality Management
Hometown: Naperville

When Ulyana Viniarskaya can put a smile on a guest's face by doing a good deed, then she knows she made the right career decision.

"Being in the hospitality industry, you learn so much, not only from the guests but also about yourself," she said. "You learn that hospitality is a big industry and there are a lot of opportunities to grow. You learn that customer service is the key to everything."

Viniarskaya turned to College of DuPage for her Hospitality education, and she's glad she did.

"It was really convenient to work and probably is the only school that has such a flexible schedule that I was able to have an outside life," she said. "It gave me the opportunity to learn more about the hospitality industry and also apply it to my career."

She is currently a catering coordinator for Holiday Inn Itasca, which includes turning a guest's dream event into a reality. She eventually plans to continue her education beyond COD by pursuing a bachelor's degree at Roosevelt University and taking advantage of the 3+1 agreement between the College and Roosevelt.

But she won't forget what she learned at College of DuPage, particularly from one associate professor.

"Mary Beth Leone has done a spectacular job of teaching," Viniarskaya said. "She breaks it down for you so you understand it. I don't think I know of any other teacher who would dedicate so much of her time trying to explain something to you when you just don't get it. No wonder she was once named Outstanding Faculty of the Year.

"The fact that I went to COD and for all the knowledge that I got from my education, I am now a Catering Sales Manager. You don't find a lot of 22 year olds in this position! I am very proud of my education at COD and I plan to continue with the 3+1 program."

More about the Culinary and Hospitality Management program